Music Business

Perfect Your Music Metadata for Publishing and Distribution in 2023

Music metadata is important for publishing and distribution. In this article, we explain the value of sorting out your metadata.

Music Metadata
Music Metadata


Metadata has become an essential component of the music industry. Music metadata is the information that accompanies a piece of music and provides details about its composition, artist, producer, and other relevant data. Properly curated and distributed metadata is crucial for the success of music publishing and distribution. In this article, we’ll explore why metadata is important in the music industry and how it affects the music publishing and distribution process.

What is Metadata?

Metadata is a set of information that describes a piece of music. It includes details about the artist, album, track title, genre, recording date, producer, and more. Metadata can also include information about the writer, publisher, and any other relevant details, such as the ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) or UPC (Universal Product Code) of the track. This data is used by music publishers, distributors, and streaming services to identify, categorize, and distribute music.

Why is Music Metadata Important?

Metadata plays a vital role in the music publishing and distribution process for several reasons:

  1. Accurate Identification: Properly curated metadata helps identify and distinguish different pieces of music from one another. This is especially important in today’s digital age, where millions of songs are available on various platforms. Accurate metadata ensures that each piece of music is properly identified and categorized.
  2. Royalty Collection: Metadata is crucial for royalty collection. It allows publishers and distributors to track the usage of music and ensure that the appropriate royalties are paid to the right parties. Without accurate metadata, there is a risk of incorrect royalty payments or missed opportunities for revenue collection.
  3. Discoverability: Good metadata makes music more discoverable. Metadata that accurately describes a piece of music increases its chances of being recommended to listeners by streaming services and other platforms. This can lead to increased exposure and revenue opportunities for the artist and publisher.
  4. Rights Management: Metadata helps to manage the rights of a piece of music. This includes identifying ownership and usage rights and tracking any licensing agreements or restrictions. Properly managed rights ensure that music is used legally and ethically, protecting both the artist and the publisher.

How to Ensure Proper Metadata in Music Publishing and Distribution

Properly curated metadata is essential for the success of music publishing and distribution. Here are some tips on how to ensure good metadata:

1. Use a Centralized Metadata Management System: A centralized metadata management system is an essential tool for efficiently and accurately managing metadata. The system can be implemented using either a dedicated metadata service or a content management system that includes metadata management features. Such a system allows for a centralized location where metadata can be stored and managed, which ensures that all necessary information is readily available and can be easily updated.

This approach can help minimize errors and discrepancies that may arise from multiple sources of metadata, thereby ensuring that the correct information is consistently used across all relevant platforms. Furthermore, having a centralized metadata management system provides a framework for standardized metadata practices, which helps streamline the entire process of metadata management. By using such a system, music publishers and distributors can ensure that their metadata is up-to-date, accurate, and easily accessible, which can lead to more efficient and effective management of music rights and royalties.

2. Double-Check Metadata Accuracy: Accuracy is key when it comes to metadata. It’s important to double-check metadata for accuracy and completeness, especially when submitting music to publishing and distribution services.

3. Keep Metadata Consistent: Consistency is also important when it comes to metadata. Ensure that metadata is consistent across all platforms to avoid confusion and inaccuracies.

4. Include All Relevant Metadata: It’s important to include all relevant metadata when publishing and distributing music. This includes information about the artist, writer, producer, and any other relevant details. This information helps to properly identify and categorize music.

Music Metadata Management Tools

There are a variety of metadata management tools available for music publishers and distributors, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Some popular metadata management tools for music include:

  1. DDEX: The Digital Data Exchange (DDEX) is a nonprofit organization that creates and maintains standards for digital media exchange. Their standards include specifications for metadata exchange, which help ensure interoperability between different systems and services.
  2. SoundExchange: SoundExchange is a nonprofit organization that manages royalties for digital performance rights in the United States. They also offer a suite of tools and services for managing metadata, including a database of music metadata and tools for registering and updating metadata.
  3. Roon: Roon is a music player and management system that offers extensive metadata capabilities. It includes a metadata database that can be used to identify and tag music files, as well as tools for editing and managing metadata.
  4. TuneCore: TuneCore is a music distribution service that offers tools for managing metadata and distributing music to various platforms. Their platform includes features for updating metadata, tracking sales and royalties, and managing multiple releases.
  5. Soundcharts: Soundcharts is a music analytics and data management platform that includes metadata management features. It offers tools for tracking and analyzing music metadata across various platforms and services.
  6. RoyaltyShare: RoyaltyShare is a music royalty accounting and management platform that includes metadata management features. It offers tools for registering and updating metadata, as well as tracking royalties and payments.

These are just a few examples of the many metadata management tools available for music publishers and distributors. Each tool has its own unique features and capabilities, so it’s important to carefully evaluate options and choose the tool that best meets your specific needs. Some key considerations when choosing a metadata management tool include the size and complexity of your music library, the platforms and services you distribute to, and your budget and resources for managing metadata.

Blockchain and Music Metadata

Blockchain technology has been gaining attention in the music industry as a potential solution for various issues, including the management of music metadata. In this article, we will explore how blockchain technology can impact music metadata and how it could revolutionize the music industry.

One of the major challenges with music metadata is its fragmentation. Because metadata is often managed by different entities at various points in the music supply chain, it can become disjointed and inconsistent. For example, an artist may have different metadata associated with their music on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube, making it difficult to track and manage their music effectively.

This is where blockchain technology comes in. Blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that enables secure and transparent record-keeping. By using blockchain to manage music metadata, a centralized and immutable record of all metadata associated with a particular piece of music can be created. This would enable more accurate and consistent metadata management, reducing errors and disputes.

One of the key benefits of using blockchain for music metadata management is its ability to create a decentralized and open system. Because blockchain does not rely on a centralized authority to manage data, it can provide a more democratic and transparent system for managing music metadata. This can help to promote fairness and accuracy in the music industry, as well as reduce the potential for fraud or abuse.

Another potential benefit of using blockchain for music metadata is its ability to enable faster and more efficient music licensing and distribution. By creating a more accurate and consistent record of music metadata, licensing and distribution can become more streamlined and automated. This could help to reduce costs and improve revenue for artists and other stakeholders.

Despite its potential benefits, there are still challenges to implementing blockchain for music metadata management. One of the major challenges is the need for standardization and interoperability. In order for blockchain to be effective in managing music metadata, it must be able to work with a variety of different music metadata systems and platforms. This will require the development of industry-wide standards and protocols for music metadata management.

Overall, the impact of blockchain on music metadata management is still largely speculative, but it is clear that blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the music industry. By enabling more accurate and consistent metadata management, blockchain can help to improve revenue for artists, streamline licensing and distribution, and promote fairness and transparency in the music industry. As the music industry continues to evolve, blockchain is likely to play an increasingly important role in the management of music metadata.


Metadata plays a vital role in the success of music publishing and distribution. Accurate and properly curated metadata ensures that music is properly identified, categorized, and distributed. It also plays a crucial role in royalty collection, discoverability, and rights management. To ensure the best possible outcome, it’s essential to use a centralized metadata management system, double-check metadata accuracy, maintain consistency, and include all relevant metadata. With proper metadata management, music can reach its full potential and achieve greater success in the industry.

Additional Reading

Now that you’ve learned about the value of organizing your music metadata, take some time to check out our other articles. Learn how to make money on YouTube as a musician. You can also learn audio engineering 101.

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Breve Music Studios publishes music to Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music and more. Follow our pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube.

Listen to our ensembles: Breve Orchestra, Breve Music Ensemble, Breve Low Brass Ensemble, Breve Woodwind Ensemble, and Jermaine Harris on Spotify.

Breve Music Studios publishes music for Breve Orchestra, Breve Low Brass Ensemble, Breve Music Ensemble, and Breve Woodwind Ensemble.
Breve Music Studios publishes music for Breve Orchestra, Breve Low Brass Ensemble, Breve Music Ensemble, and Breve Woodwind Ensemble.

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